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So Cal Edison and Chevron Technology Ventures Dedicate Hydrogen Fueling Station

Process flow for the SCE-Chevron hydrogen station. Click to enlarge.

Southern California Edison (SCE) and Chevron Technology Ventures LLC last week dedicated a comprehensive hydrogen energy station evaluation and demonstration program at the utility’s Rosemead headquarters.

The five-year demonstration is co-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as one of five projects under a DOE cost-sharing program to demonstrate a variety of integrated well-to-wheels systems under real world conditions.

The SCE station—which is for demonstration purposes only—is among the first facilities in Southern California fully to explore the electrolyzer process to generate hydrogen. The station and program include:

  • An on-site, state-of-the-art alkaline electrolyzer that produces up to 40 kg of hydrogen per day with 60 kg of storage. At the hydrogen station in Rosemead, city water serves as the feedstock. The water is further purified through a de-ionizer which removes unwanted soluble species and ions. The resulting water is mixed with an electrolyte solution, splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen via electrolysis.

    The resulting hydrogen is purified and then compressed to 6,250 psi for vehicle fueling. Up to 60 kg of compressed hydrogen is stored in five storage vessels at high, medium and low pressures.

  • An SCE-designed, advanced “power analyzing system” that gathers detailed system-wide energy impact data on the entire hydrogen production process.

  • Advanced and redundant safety systems including hydrogen flame detectors, and hydrogen gas detectors with real time and simultaneous monitoring between SCE and Chevron.

  • A fleet of up to nine zero-emission Hyundai fuel-cell cars, powered by UTC Power fuel cells that will be evaluated as part of the station’s operational demonstration.

  • The Hyundai fuel cell vehicles include a GPS tracking system and advanced data logging capabilities to evaluate their performance in a real world application.

This is one of five Chevron Hydrogen stations commissioned and implemented in California, Florida and Michigan. Each Chevron hydrogen station uses a different hydrogen production technology.

This will help us understand which technologies work best and what factors need to be in place to make hydrogen a viable transportation fuel.

—Rick Zalesky, Chevron president of hydrogen and biofuels

SCE says that its partnership with Chevron is an example of SCE’s commitment to join with major automakers, federal and state government organizations and our customers to fully understand the potential of transportation connecting to the electric grid. SCE points out that the electric grid is basically the only “alternative fuel” infrastructure that is ubiquitous today in the US.

SCE currently operates a fleet of nearly 300 electric vehicles that covers almost 100,000 miles a month and has traveled more than 14 million miles since the mid 90s. Several EVs achieved more than 100,000 miles on their original battery packs in a test program.

Since the inception of SCE’s EV program, company vehicles have avoided the consumption of more than 700,000 gallons of gasoline and avoided 7,500 tons of global warming carbon dioxide emissions and more than 1,700 tons of air pollutants, according to the company.

John Bryson, chairman, Edison International, said that SCE’s hydrogen and fuel-cell EV evaluation and demonstration program are part of the company’s continued commitment to research and development in electric transportation.

Strengthening energy security and environmental protections will drive development of next generation transportation technologies. In the future, fuel cells powered by hydrogen may be part of the solution.

—John Bryson

SCE’s Electric Vehicle Technical Center (EVTC), founded in 1993, conducts extensive plug-in electric vehicle battery testing with major battery manufacturers and the DOE to evaluate system reliability in both mobile and stationary applications.




Anyone seen numbers for the efficiency of this process?


Looks to be about -99% to me.

Wonder how many billions DOE will pee away before they give up.


Given its gen rate id say over 50% but nowhere near the rollout goal of 75 plus.


Thats easy, I can draw a diagram like that too.

Perhaps they left out the blue print for a nuclear reactor.


If you wanted to turn biomass into SNG and pipe it to the station, I would say that you were on the right track. Then you could run cars on SNG and people could refuel in their garages. But using electricity to make the hydrogen is a real loser.


Chevron- Changing our addiction from Oil to Hydrogen. Who will spend the TRILLIONS for the new infrastructure... Chevron or Taxpayers?


It looks as if the guy at the bottom of the energy chain
(ie. end user) is the one who is going to squeal like a
stuck pig. Inefficiency and transmission losses at the expense
of clean power will only make the carbon footprint of this
model an exercise in futility. Build the green renewable
generation plant first then with the surplus make the
conversion to Hydrogen generation. Other wise this shell
game is another corporate energy Faustian bargain, that the
consumer will have to subsidise. $1.00 per KW/H anyone?
California is in for a "Future Shock" from its electron distribution network.


From 30% efficient generation of electricity to 90% efficient transmission of electricity, to 70% efficiency in the creation of the hydrogen, to 90% efficient compression to 40% efficient fuel cells, it is a net loser. You end up with:

.3 x .9 x .7 x .4 = .068
or 6.8% well to wheels efficiency for NG.

Take the NG and put it in an I.C.E car and get more than 20% efficiency.


Heh... all that matters with h2 is how much it will cost at the pump to go a mile and how many miles will a reasonably priced car be able to go per fillup..

Right now most of the cost isnt generating h2 its the equipement needed to do so. That is changing rapidly.

By 2012 they will supposedly reach a goak of 3.5 bucks per kil at the pump.. concidering how fast things are changing they wont miss by much if any.

Soo the question becomes how much will that wind up per mile.

If we factor moderate eff fc currently made.. they can do 75 miles per kilo in a massive 3500 lb car...

Add in the better fc gen they will have by 2012.. and you have 100-115 miles per kilo.

That results in a cost of 3,5 cents or less per mile for a big car... likely half that for a smaller car.

Question is how much will that car cost? Not a million thats for sure.. but its highly doubtful they can cost reduce the parts to normal range by then.

But they say they will make fc cars as cheap as gas cars.. 2030 timeframe I think it was.

Even if it goes slower its still gona be cheap enough rather soon.



you left out something in your comparison. Yes NG has 20% effeciency when used in a car but you left out the ineffeciencies that come into play to collect the natural gas and then transport it to where it is pumped into the car.

You were however very happy to include the whole process when it came to Hydrogen. Did it slip your mind or did you do this on purpose?

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